GDC | Mobile Summit

GDC Mobile Summit

Learn the nuts and bolts of great game design and successful business strategies for games on mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and Amazon in the GDC Mobile Summit, Monday and Tuesday, March 19-20, 2018. Join top game developers from around the world to share ideas, discuss best practices, and shape the future of mobile gaming.

2017 Highlighted Sessions (M-T)

All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, or GDC Summits Pass required to attend summit sessions (M-T).

'Pokemon GO' & Designing Interactive Games for the Real World
Dennis Hwang (Niantic, Inc.)
In the Summer of 2016, millions of people went outside and explored new places to capture augmented-reality Pokémon characters. Pokémon Go was downloaded over 500 million times, and its players collectively walked over 8.7 billion kilometers within just a few months of its launch. 

In this talk, I will describe the various UX and visual design choices that were shaped by our focus on real-world gaming, and how they created a fun and accessible play experience for a diverse set of players across age and gender demographics.
The Year in Mobile Games
Steve Meretzky (King)
Dave Rohrl (Mobile Game Doctor)
Juan Gril (Joju Games)
Dave Rohrl, Steve Meretzky and Juan Gril continue a long-running and popular series, offering a detailed look at the past year's developments in mobile gaming. They'll dive into the most interesting games, the hottest trends, the most unusual new features, and the most surprising numbers. It's a great way to kick off the GDC, and to get up to speed on the current state of mobile games!
Mobile Revenue Forecasting: A Guide to Not Losing Your Shirt
Mike Gordon (Iron Horse Games)
Game forecasting is a critical part of game development and many developers skip this step or are too intimidated to even try it. Through several case studies from live Iron Horse games, we'll show you how to think about forecasting and how forecasting your game's performance and analyzing the ROI on future work will help you maximize the returns on your time and effort while minimizing your losses. You'll learn which variables you should include in your forecast, how to set your expectations around launch and how to make the decision to move onto another project.

GDC Mobile Summit Advisors

Frank Cartwright
Reloaded Games Inc.
As COO of Reloaded Games Inc., Frank Cartwright brings over a decade of experience in online, social, mobile, and free-to-play gaming in both the core and casual categories. Most recently, he served as SVP of Product and Platform Development at K2 Network Inc. (Gamerfirst), where he oversaw the product development of the free-to-play publishing platform, as well as the publishing Gamersfirst LIVE! Prior to K2, he served as vice president of online entertainment at the GameShowNetwork (GSN), where he oversaw the product development, technology implementation, and administration of, the network's emerging casual games site. Prior to GSN, he served as vice president of product development and engineering at Global Gaming League (GGL), a worldwide leader in organized, competitive online and live video game tournaments and events (V-Sports). Prior to GGL, he served as vice president of production for SkillJam Technologies, where he played an instrumental role in the company's growth and globalization efforts, handling all technical development and production. Frank began his career in gaming in 1995 at Dreamers Guild, as lead software engineer on Turner Interactive's Dinotopia PC game. From there he joined Disney Internet Group (DIG), creating dozens of Java, Flash and Shockwave online games and building Disney's online multiplayer gaming platform. Frank has a BS degree in business management.
David Edery
Spry Fox
David Edery is the co-founder and CEO of Spry Fox, the studio behind titles such as 'Alphabear', 'Triple Town', 'Steambirds', 'Bushido Bear', and 'Realm of the Mad God'. Previously, David was Worldwide Games' portfolio manager for Microsoft's Xbox LIVE service, where he was responsible for content strategy and selecting the games that would be accepted for distribution by the LIVE service. David co-authored, "Changing the Game: How Video Games are Transforming the Future of Business" a book that explores the ways that games can be leveraged by businesses for serious purposes.
Juan Gril
Juan Gril has more than 19 years of experience developing casual games. Currently at Flowplay, he is an Executive Producer, leading the design of games and virtual communities. Previous to Flowplay and for 12 years, Juan led Joju Games. The studio produced games for international clients including Dreamworks, MTV Networks, and Atari. Juan is an advisor for the Mobile Games Summit at GDC, and judge for the "Sense of Wonder Night" Game Festival at Tokyo Game Show.
Steve Meretzky
It's hard to have a serious conversation about gaming without mention of Steve. It's also hard to have a humorous conversation about gaming without mention of him. Steve's contributions to the industry began in 1981 at the legendary adventure game company Infocom, where his titles included 'Planetfall', 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' (in collaboration with Douglas Adams), 'Leather Goddesses of Phobos', and 'Zork Zero'. Steve is currently VP of Games for King, the mobile games giant known for mega-hits like 'Candy Crush Saga'. Prior to joining King, Steve was VP of Creative for GSN, and VP of Game Design for Playdom (a division of Disney Interactive). Previously, Steve co-founded Boffo Games and held senior creative posts at Blue Fang, Floodgate, and WorldWinner. Over his prolific career, Steve has consulted with teams at Activision, Blizzard, EA, Harmonix and Hasbro, to name a few. A former board member of the IGDA, Steve organizes the Mobile Game Summit at the GDC as well as the annual Game Designers Workshop. Steve holds a degree in construction project management from MIT, but otherwise assures us that he did not waste his four years there.
Caryl Shaw
Double Fine Productions
Caryl Shaw is currently the VP of Development for Double Fine Productions in San Francisco, California.

Prior to joining Double Fine, Caryl worked for large developers like Electronic Arts/Maxis and Amazon as well as smaller companies like Telltale Games and ngmoco:) focusing on team management and growth, game production, quality assurance management and online features and telemetry.

She's spoken internationally about a range of topics including: Running a Live Mobile Game, the changing role of Game Production in Development and Putting User-Generated Content to Work in Video Games.
John Welch
Making Fun
John Welch is a veteran leader of the games industry and one of the early pioneers of digital distribution of entertainment. He is CEO of Making Fun, a developer and publisher he co-founded in 2009 to create mobile, social and PC games. Making Fun's works include 'Eternium', 'Magic & Empire', and 'Ironbound'. These titles are produced with a combination of U.S., Canada and Argentina-based internal talent and close partnerships with outside game studios in Europe and South America.

Prior to forming Making Fun, John was co-founder and CEO of PlayFirst, the casual games publisher famous for the best-selling 'Diner Dash' brand that has been played by hundreds of millions of people. John was responsible for the vision, financing, strategic direction and operations of the company for its first five years, including producing the first 'Diner Dash' title. PlayFirst, acquired by Glu Mobile in 2014, was an innovator in bringing the full-service publishing model to casual online and downloadable games. Prior to forming PlayFirst, John spent nearly five years building into one of the top game portals of the day as the company's Vice President of Games and Product. In 2001, John's team launched a collection of Midway downloadable games for $19.99 that was among the very first digital content ever sold on the internet, long before Kindle books or iTunes. He was a key member of the Dreamcast Network leadership team at SEGA from 1998 to 1999. Previously, John spent several years running a small consultancy he co-founded. He began his career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). In addition to his operating role, John is a director on the boards of two other gaming companies and a strategic advisor to a non-gaming company innovating in the leadership development space. He has served in leadership roles with the International Game Developers Association, and he is a regular advisor and faculty member of the annual Game Developers' Conference. John is an active member of the Golden Gate chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO). He holds degrees in mathematics and computer science from MIT and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. John enjoys spending his free time shredding the lakes and slopes in Tahoe with his family.

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